The need for standards

My techie readers are probably expecting a rant about GSM vs CDMA or Blu-ray vs HD-DVD, or even (to keep the blog theme) RSS vs Atom.  Instad, it seems the standards war now extends to an unlikely player: Pottery Barn.

It all started before Thankgiving when we bought Pottery Barn’s Savannah headboard (without the footboard).  We didn’t get the Pottery Barn bedframe because Mattress Discounters (future rant: why is the mattress-buying process just as bad as buying a used car?) said they’d throw one in with our mattress purchase.

Once the frame and headboard had both arrived, I went to connect the two.  Much to my surprise, the 4 holes in the metal frame matched only 1 of the 3 holes drilled in the headboard (the bottom-most one).   One bolt isn’t enough to stabilize a headboard.  I figured it was because we got a cheap-o bedframe that was probably a factory reject.  I didn’t like the freebie bedframe anyway, since it had small casters which would just marr the hardwood anyway.  So I ordered something from a small e-tailer so I could explain the problem on the phone to someone who (I hoped) would have some experience with exactly this issue.  The new frame I picked out had feet instead of wheels, which I wanted anyway to protect the floors.

When the frame arrived I had 2 surprises.  First, FedEx had ripped a small hole in the box, which turned out to be just big enough to let one of the 4 plastic feet fall out and disappear forever.  The second surprise is that the mounting holes were exactly like those in the freebie frame.  So even if I had all 4 feet, I was no farther ahead in my quest.

When all else fails, read the directions.  So I took a quick look at the page of instructions that came with Pottery Barn’s headboard.  And there I had my answer.  The holes drilled in headboard didn’t match the illustration.  If it did match, everything would fit together properly.  So I had solved the mystery.  I called Pottery Barn and had them send another one.

2 weeks later, the delivery truck arrived with a new headboard.  And sadly, it was drilled just like the one I already had.  So I rejected the delivery, assuming that the overseas factory had accidentally drilled all million headboards incorrectly.

I did more research.  The instruction sheet showed the holes one way, but this Pottery Barn page describes the holes being drilled as they were on my headboard.  Which way is it supposed to be?  A trip to the mattress shop showed that all headboards there were drilled in the “correct” style… so why did Pottery Barn insist on being non-standard?

I called Pottery Barn’s customer service team and they insisted I need this adapter.  I had my doubts (it didn’t seem like it was going to solve a damn thing) and when it arrived I was right — despite its description, it doesn’t help at all if the frame and the headboard align properly but don’t connect.  Sigh.

Another grumpy call to Pottery Barn’s customer service team yielded a refund on the adapter and a free Pottery Barn Frame which suppedly will work.  I can’t wait to see where the holes are drilled on it.  Sadly, the Pottery Barn frame has wheels (at least they are large, wide wheels) instead of feet, but hopefully it solves my problem.  If not, I’ll just drill the hole where I need it in the headboard and be done with this mess.

One thought on “The need for standards

  1. Did the Pottery Barn frame solve the problem??? I have PB’s Claudia headboard and PB’s adapter kit and my problem is the same as yours. Please help!!

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